Survival the target for high-flying Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 11:27 06 December 2010
Focus Images 2010
AUDIO: Manager Paul Lambert was at pains to play down talk of promotion after his Norwich City side moved into fourth place in the Championship table.
The Canaries ended Derby County’s run of six successive home wins with a 2-1 success in front of more than 2,200 travelling fans to leapfrog their opponents in the table. But after his team’s fourth away victory of the season, it was a case of don’t mention the P-word – even if it just means play-offs – to the boss.
“If we can survive we will do all right,” he said. “And we are hanging in at the minute with the group up near the top. There is not much in it, but we are certainly playing well and when the fans get behind us it is a massive help to us. Honestly, I just want to survive, that’s my main concern. Ask me in May - then I’ll tell you. If I am still here in May and I don’t get the sack then you can ask me.
“Every game we play we’re underdogs because we’re new to the league, every game. It doesn’t matter what game you want to ask me about, we’re underdogs, but what I’ve got is a group of lads that are playing brilliantly at the minute, at the top of their game.”
City’s attacking start at Pride Park paid dividends with two goals in the first 13 minutes.
“In the first half especially I thought we were outstanding and the goals that we scored were great,” said Lambert.
“You are coming to a club where it is really vibrant itself, they’ve not lost a game at home for a long time and they play in front of a passionate crowd and they are a really good side. You like to think you do go and try to win the game from the off and that’s what we try to do. I have never been one to go away from home and try to bed ourselves in and try to consolidate.
“I think we try to get a foothold in the game and I think with the crowd that we bring you have got to get on the front foot. They come one hell of a long way to watch us and it is up to us to try to give them something, but we need them every bit as much as they need us.”
David Fox, whose deflected shot gave City the lead, earned a pat on the back from Lambert for a polished display after starting his fifth game in a row in midfield.
“I think he is playing at the top of his game at the minute. You can ask any of the lads, at the training ground technically he is brilliant. He’s got a habit of never giving it away, which is a rare commodity,” said Lambert, who also had words of praise for his goalkeeper.
“I have to give John Ruddy credit. I thought his second-half save was as good as I have seen in a long time. And the one in the first half when he blocked it – big moments in big games.
“There were going to be comparisons with Fraser Forster for what he did, but John is his own man, his own goalkeeper and he has made saves that have kept us in games, especially away from home. I am delighted in the last few games with the way he is performing.”
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Paul Lambert post-match